411MAX: News News Revolution 11.11.03

Before we begin this week, I want to take this time to be extremely happy about the Redskins WINNING this week! Not only that, but winning by a seven-point margin! Of course this doesn’t really make up for the fact that they’ve gotten beaten SENSELESS for four weeks straight, especially when they were 3-1 at one point, but they won with a great rally effort, so I’m happy.

And now, to begin!

This past weekend was a good one for me. I got to go home, play a few rounds of Disgaea, find out my DDR pads still work (for a limited time), full-combo Burning Heat (3 Option Mix) on Heavy for the first time…good, good stuff.

Also, while I’m not a wrestling writer, I want to give my condolences to the family and friends of “Crash Holly” himself, Mike Lockwood. He was one of my favorite wrestlers, and a great entertainer. He will be missed by many, and me especially.

That takes care of the intro. ON WITH THE NEWS!
——————–
TOP STORY: Another Thing We Can Blame The French On

To start with, my heartfelt apologies go out to all those who live in the province of Quebec in Canada.

Why am I sending out my apologies, you ask? Well, you may not be able to buy your favorite American releases anymore.

Quebec is officially enforcing “Quebec Law 101” against game sellers. The law states that unless “commercial displays”, such as CD/DVD covers and promotional materials contain the game’s name in French above the English (if there IS any English), the retailers will be fined.

Because of this, Quebec stores got rid of LOTS of their inventories. Some stores had to dump 75% of their stuff!

A charge of 7,500 Canadian dollars will be fined PER offense. That means if you have 5 games that don’t follow the law, that’s $375,000 right there.

No doubt this will do major damage to the Quebec gaming scene, possibly even killing it completely. Only a few game companies are putting out the right packaging, such as Square, Microsoft, and Sony. Other companies, like Nintendo, Konami, and Sega, haven’t implemented French language packaging yet.

I am so sorry, Quebec. Again, my heart goes out to you.

Say, you know what? Anyone in Quebec read this thing? If so, let me know how things are going. Drop me a line or something. I’ll post any responses here in a future column if I get enough.

(Credit goes to Games Are Fun)
——————–
China Gets The PS2!

Where Quebec is losing things, China stands to gain! Starting in December, Sony will begin selling their PS2 console in four Chinese cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. It will sell between 1,400 and 1,500 yuan, and be bundled with three games.

Really not much else to report on here. But China’s been getting some great systems lately!

(Credit goes to Gamespot)
——————–
Mr. Sparkle Comes To Japan!

Another short news bite here, but Microsoft is going to publish three new additions to the X-Box Worlds collection for Japan. Games in this series were developed for America first, and will NOT receive any translations of any kind. (They’re simply changing the region coding, it seems.)

The three games are:

Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
The Simpsons: Hit & Run
Wakeboarding Unleashed

This kinda makes me wonder why companies over here don’t do the reverse; take Japanese games and release them here without localization. Oh wait, that’s right. The money. Can’t make money off of Japanese games!

Stupid corporations.

(Credit goes to The Magic Box)
——————–
Eye Want My Eye Toy!

Apparently the Eye Toy is a big seller. So big in fact, that Nam Tai Electronics stated that they increased Eye Toy production by FOURTEEN TIMES the previous amount! (From 50,000 to 700,000 units per month.) And they’re going to need them if they’re going to sell both Eye Toy: Play and Eye Toy: Groove later this year.

Apparently, Eye Toy: Groove will have you interacting with the screen to licensed music.

…Kinda like…dancing…

Holy crap, DDR has competition!

Don’t get me wrong, DDR is practically my life, but this Eye Toy game might give it a run for its money! No clumsy floor pads to work with!

Hmmm…this “Eye Toy” intrigues me, and I wish to learn more…

(Credit goes to Gamespot)

Well, the news is done, so lets…
——————–
CHEAT!

Today’s game…

GRAND THEFT AUTO: DOUBLE PACK (X-Box)

It’s the same game! In two different time zones! All over again! We’re so lucky!

All these codes are entered in during play, just like the PS2 versions.

Anyway, here’s a list of codes for the GTA3 half:

All Weapons: Black, Black, L, Black, Left, Down, Right, Up, Left, Down, Right, Up
Blow Up Car: White, Black, L, R, White, Black, Y, X, B, Y, White, L
Crazy Pedestrians: Black, R, Y, A, White, L, Up, Down
Enables gore (i.e. decapitations and amputations): X, L, B, Down, L, R, Y, Right, L, A
Full Armor: Black, Black, L, White, Left, Down, Right, Up, Left, Down, Right, Up
Full Heath: Black, Black, L, R, Left, Down, Right, Up, Left, Down, Right, Up
Get A Tank: B, B, B, B, B, B, R, White, L, Y, B, Y
Great Handling In Car (Press Analog In to jump!): R, L, Black, L, Left, R, R, Y
Higher Wanted Level: Black, Black, L, Black, Left, Right, Left, Right, Left, Right
Lots Of Money: Black, Black, L, L, Left, Down, Right, Up, Left, Down, Right, Up
Lower Wanted Level: Black, Black, L, Black, Up, Down, Up, Down, Up, Down
Make Cars Invisible: L, L, X, Black, Y, L, Y
Pedestrians All Hate You: Down, Up, Left, Up, A, R, Black, L, White
Pedestrians Box Each Other: Right, Black, B, R, White, Down, L, R
Pedestrians Fight Each Other: Down, Up, Left, Up, A, R, Black, White, L
Wear Any Outfit: Right, Down, Left, Up, L, White, Up, Left, Down, Right

And now, the Vice City half:

Aggressive Drivers: Black, B, R, White, Left, R, L, Black, White
Armor: R, Black, L, A, Left, Down, Right, Up, Left, Down, Right, Up
Black Cars: B, White, Up, R, Left, A, R, L, Left, B
Blow Up Cars: Black, White, R, L, White, Black, X, Y, B, Y, White, L
Cars Can Drive on Water: Right, Black, B, R, White, X, R, Black
Change Clothes: Right, Right, Left, Up, L, White, Left, Up, Down, Right
Change Vehicle Wheel Size (Repeat to change more): R, A, Y, Right, Black, X, Up, Down, X
Dodo Cheat (Press Analog Stick back to Fly): Right, Black, B, R, White, Down, L, R
Health: R, Black, L, B, Left, Down, Right, Up, Left, Down, Right, Up
Higher Top Speed For Your Vehicle: Right, R, Up, White, White, Left, R, L, R, R
Ladies Man (certain women follow you): B, A, L, L, Black, A, A, B, Y
Lower Wanted Level: R, R, B, Black, Up, Down, Up, Down, Up, Down
Perfect Handling: Y, R, R, Left, R, L, Black, L
Pink Cars: B, L, Down, White, Left, A, R, L, Right, A
Play As Candy Suxxx: B, Black, Down, R, Left, Right, R, L, A, White
Play As Hilary King: R, B, Black, L, Right, R, L, A, Black
Play As Ken Rosenberg: Right, L, Up, White, L, Right, R, L, A, R
Play As Lance Vance: B, White, Left, A, R, L, A, L
Play As Love Fist Guy #1: Down, L, Down, White, Left, A, R, L, A, A
Play As Love Fist Guy #2: R, White, Black, L, Right, Black, Left, A, X, L
Play As Mercedes: Black, L, Up, L, Right, R, Right, Up, B, Y
Play As Phil Cassady: Right, R, Up, Black, L, Right, R, L ,Right, B
Play As Ricardo Diaz: L, White, R, Black, Down, L, Black, White
Play As Sonny Forelli: B, L, B, White, Left, A, R, L, A, A
Raise Wanted Level: R, R, B, Black, Left, Right, Left, Right, Left, Right
Spawn A Bloodring Banger: Up, Right, Right, L, Right, Up, X, White
Spawn A Bloodring Racer: Down, R, B, White, White, A, R, L, Left, Left
Spawn A Caddie: B, L, Up, R, White, A, R, L, B, A
Spawn A Hotring Racer #1: R, B, Black, Right, L, White, A, A, X, R
Spawn A Hotring Racer #2: Black, L, B, Right, L, R, Right, Up, B, Black
Spawn A Love Fist: Black, Up, White, Left, Left, R, L, B, Right
Spawn A Rhino tank: B, B, L, B, B, B, L, White, R, Y, B, Y
Spawn A Romero’s Hearse: Down, Black, Down, R, White, Left, R, L, Left, Right
Spawn A Sabre Turbo: Right, White, Down, White, White, A, R, L, B, Left
Spawn A Trashmaster: B, R, B, R, Left, Left, R, L, B, Right
Suicide: Right, White, Down, R, Left, Left, R, L, White, L
Weapons #1: R, Black, L, Black, Left, Down, Right, Up, Left, Down, Right, Up
Weapons #2: R, Black, L, Black, Left, Down, Right, Up, Left, Down, Down, Left
Weapons #3: R, Black, L, Black, Left, Down, Right, Up, Left, Down, Down, Down

(Credit goes to GameFAQs)
——————–
Commentary: Spiking the SpikeTV Video Game Awards (Pt. 1)

Seeing as though I was brave enough to cover the N-Gage before its release, allow me to cover something else no one will touch with a ten-foot pole: The SpikeTV Video Game Awards.

So, “The First Network For Men” is having an award show for video games? In all honesty, this isn’t going to serve as a fair awards show. The more I think about it, the more this is going to be a self-congratulatory night for all the popular games.

I mean, look at the categories! They’re jokes! They all contain 8 or more nominees, many have games that aren’t released yet (or released just now), and hardly any “fringe” games, or games with cult status. I guess the only “manly” games are popular games.

So, I’ve decided to go through the nominee list, category by category, and make my predictions. What I’d like to see win, and what will probably win. There are plenty of categories, so I’ll be spacing this over three parts. Check them out next Friday and Monday.

This is gonna hurt. Hurt REAL bad…Well, let’s go anyway!

Game of the Year:
Freedom Fighters (EA)
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PC Version) (Rockstar)
Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Nintendo)
Madden NFL 2004 (EA)
SOCOM II: U.S. Navy Seals (SCEA)
SSX 3 (EA Big)
Star Wars Galaxies (LucasArts)
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell (Ubisoft)
Tony Hawk’s Underground (Activision)

Two of these games aren’t even a month old, and are already being considered “Game of the Year”? The first tip-off that this thing is rigged.

What Should Win: Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Nintendo)
Of any of these games, it should be Zelda. It’s a complete package. But, it features a kid in green pajamas as the hero. Not really what the channel’s viewers will look up to.
What Will Win: Madden NFL 2004 (EA)
A tough call, but Madden is an immensely popular title in the 18-34 demographic. Remember the chaos that ensued on the game’s release? Violent, repetitive, AND annoying commentary. SpikeTV’s game of the year.

Most Addictive Game:
Anarchy Online: Shadowlands (Funcom)
Donkey Kong Country (Nintendo)
ESPN NHL Hockey (Sega)
Madden NFL 2004 (EA Sports)
PlanetSide (Sony Online Entertainment)
Soul Calibur II (Namco)
The Sims: Superstar (EA)
Viewtiful Joe (Capcom)
Virtual Fighter 4: Evolution (Sega)

While an argument CAN be made for the online RPGs, there aren’t many here that I would consider “addicting”. Fun, perhaps, but not addicting.

What Should Win: Virtual Fighter 4: Evolution (Sega)
It has the most addictive properties out of all the nominees. The Quest Mode is beautifully set up, and can be enjoyed for weeks given the right circumstances.
What Will Win: The Sims: Superstar (EA)
Hard to call, but those into “The Sims” are hooked in worse than those Everquest fiends. Spending your life watching others life out theirs. Yeah, that’ll win.

Best Sports Game:
Dead or Alive: Extreme Beach Volleyball (Tecmo)
ESPN NFL Football (Sega)
Madden NFL 2004 (EA Sports)
NBA Live 2004 (EA Sports)
NBA Street Vol. 2 (EA Big)
SSX3 (EA Big)
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 (EA Sports)
Tony Hawk’s Underground (Activision)
World Series Baseball 2K3 (Sega Sports)
WWE Smackdown! Here Comes the Pain (THQ)

Combining the fantasy sports games with the simulation sports games is a bad idea to begin with. Putting DOA: XB in there is stupid. But this is SpikeTV, so who am I to criticize?

What Should Win: ESPN NFL Football (Sega)
It is easily better than Madden this year. The First-Person Mode is excellent, the commentary is top-notch, and the presentation is miles above what I’ve seen before.
What Will Win: Madden NFL 2004 (EA Sports)
Like you’re surprised. If it has the name “Madden” on it, mindless sheep will go towards it. Radioactive waste could be labeled “Madden”, and morons will drink it. Yeesh.

Best Action Game:
Freedom Fighters (EA)
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin (Eidos)
Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne (Rockstar Games)
Panzer Dragoon Orta (Sega)
Return to Castle Wolfenstein (Activision)
SOCOM II: U.S. Navy Seals (SCEA)
Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rebel Strike (LucasArts)
True Crime: Streets of L.A. (Activision)
XIII (Ubisoft)

You know, there ARE other “action” games out there that don’t involve using guns. They’re called “platformers”. But, since you don’t have a category for those…

What Should Win: Panzer Dragoon Orta (Sega)
Its the most unique out of them all, and doesn’t involve the use of traditional guns. Then again, it’s my own skewed opinion at work here.
What Will Win: Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne (Rockstar Games)
Hasn’t been out a month, and has a name that many recognize. Yep, that’ll win hands down!

Best Animation:
Dead or Alive: Extreme Beach Volleyball (Tecmo)
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PC Version) (Rockstar)
The Getaway (SCEA)
Resident Evil Code: Veronica X (Capcom)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (EA)
True Crime: The Streets of L.A. (Activision)
Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne (Blizzard)
Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht (Namco)
XIII (Ubisoft)

What exactly is this category for? Best computer animation? Best animation during gameplay? Then why is GTA in for either count?

What Should Win: Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht (Namco)
The game is beautiful. It may be one giant movie, but its one that’s a joy to look at.
What Will Win: Dead or Alive: Extreme Beach Volleyball (Tecmo)
It has tits. Men like tits. This will win.

Best Driving Game:
Auto Modellista (Capcom)
Colin McRae Rally 3 (Codemasters)
F1 Career Challenge (EA Sports)
F-Zero GX (Nintendo)
The Getaway (SCEA)
Midnight Club II (Rockstar)
MotoGP 2 (THQ)
NASCAR Thunder 2004 (EA Sports)
The Simpsons: Hit and Run (VU Games)

Yet another weird set of nominees. Why Hit & Run is even being compared to games like F-Zero GX and Midnight Club II is beyond me.

What Should Win: F-Zero GX (Nintendo)
The fastest racing game on the planet should get the rub here. A bit cartoony, maybe, but this franchise keeps pumping out game after game of greatness.
What Will Win: Midnight Club II (Rockstar)
Probably the best bet here. I’ve got nothing against it, but its been historically proven that “manly” games don’t have flashy colors.

And that’s the first six categories. Stay tuned for the next six on Friday! (Oy, this hurts…)
——————–
Plugs & Shills That Pay The Bills

Not that much this time around, considering I covered everyone else from Tuesday to Thursday already in Friday’s report. So, lets see what we got!

News You Can Use

Encore Extra Stage News Report — Me, Myself, and I
I did the Friday spot again, complete with a new set of haikus! Oh, and there’s some news in there too…somewhere…

The Gamer’s Conscience — Fredrick Badlissi
This week, Fred describes his longing for the new The Legacy of Kain game. He loves this series almost as much as I love DDR. But I doubt Kain really busts a move that well…oh, I’m not THAT much into DDR! Come on! I have a life! At least…I think I do…
——————–
Parting Thoughts

That takes care of this Tuesday’s news! Make sure to catch Lee tomorrow, and Bryan on Thursday. Then it’s ME again on Friday. (I know you’re out there, I can hear you breathing. Never mind that I’m not at the computer now. I CAN HEAR IT!)

Until next time, build several idols of the Eggplant Wizard, and display them in your window. He will be pleased.

Alex Williams